Push It!

Are you doing push-ups correctly? Push-ups are a great full body exercise that engages many muscles in your chest, arms, back, core, and legs. But let’s face it, push-ups are HARD! And because they are challenging, our form suffers. Poor form can lead to injury as well as muscle imbalances.

Standard Push-up:

  • Begin on the floor with your hands shoulder width apart, or slightly wider, and slightly behind your shoulders, toward your feet. Palms flat on the floor with fingers facing forward toward 12 o’clock.
  • Rise onto your toes with your body off the floor into a plank position. Knees, hips, back, and shoulders should be in a straight line.
  • Maintain a flat back while keeping your head in a neutral position, looking no more than 6 inches in front of your body with your chin tucked.
  • Bend your elbows until your chest is about an inch from the ground. Keep elbows close to your body- elbows should stay above your wrists at the bottom of the movement making a 45 degree angle at the elbows. Pressure should be on the outside of your hands, not the bottom near your wrist.
  • Straighten your elbows, pushing your body back into the plank position without locking your elbows, and keeping your knees, hips, and back aligned and straight throughout the entire movement.

Variations:

Can’t do a push-up correctly yet?

  • Start with wall push-ups- same as a regular push-ups except your hands are on a wall. Then move to elevated push-ups- your hands are on an elevated surface like a table or blocks. Continue to move your hands lower to the ground.
  • Start with your knees on the floor, rather than up on your toes.

Pumping out push-ups like a pro? Let’s make them harder!

  • Alternately raise a leg as you raise and lower your body.
  • Widen your legs to make your core work harder.
  • Decline push-ups- elevate your feet on a box.
  • Diamond push-ups- make a diamond with your thumbs and pointer fingers to work your triceps.
  • The variations are endless!